Archive for June, 2007

Looking for Someone Who Gets Things Done is looking for a “smart person who gets things done “. That’s how you get done getting other people to get it done. You ask for it.

Hat tip to reader Reg.

Money – Get it while it’s Hott

LoS has been bringing you sweet sounding jargon to throw around the office, the bar, the club, and the “common room” of your crowded city apartments. First we brought you “Get It Done” which has taken off worldwide with word of mouth success even we couldn’t have predicted. No doubt you’ve also noticed our excessive use of the word “money” but of course not as a noun, as an adjective. Nothing says “I have a lot of something” like whimsically changing its part of speech.

We aren’t the first grammatical hipsters to come up with the idea. It started back in the 80’s with “dope” which was originally a noun that meant “drugs”. Then people who were carefree abusers of drugs overused the word saying things like, “That is a dope car my man”. This showed that they were hip and nonchalant when discussing illegal substances and also implied that ‘drugs’ was a synonym for ‘cool’. Well at LoS we say no to dope-drugs but we say yes please to ca$h-money.

If you’re wondering how to smoothly start using ‘money’ as a modifier, we recommend you begin with clothing, something simple like “Those are money shoes my man”. Once you have the hang of it you will be pointing out money cab drivers, money overhead bins, and money Bloomberg functions. You should hurry though, it seems the UK government is already on the bandwagon with their new recruiting drive for “Money Doctors“.

When D-bags Attack (Eachother)

Stephen Schwarzman is clearly a d-bag. Some evidence from recent NYT and WSJ articles:

When he pursues deals as the chief executive of Blackstone Group, he says, he wants to “inflict pain” on and “kill off” his rivals.

Buddy, you put together deals with other d-bags and the most lethal weapon at your disposal is your Montblanc. You are not a warrior so give it a break.

Mr. Zeugin says he often spends $3,000 for a weekend of food for Mr. Schwarzman and his wife, including stone crabs that cost $400, or $40 per claw. (Mr. Schwarzman says he had no idea how much the crabs cost.)

I like to eat as much as the next guy but unless Thomas Keller is your personal chef, I can’t fathom spending $3k per weekend on food. Also, if you’re spending $400 on stone crabs for lunch every day, own it and embrace your d-bagness.

When Blackstone colleagues prepared a video tribute, he sought to squelch any roasting, asking his peers not to poke fun at him.” You have your colleagues prepare a tribute video and don’t even let them poke a little fun? Sheesh.
-“During his acceptance speech for the “Legend in Leadership Award,” Mr. Schwarzman took a call on his cellphone. “There’s a crisis going on,” he told the audience.”

Leadership is waiting until the end of your Leadership Award acceptance speech to take a phone call.

But it’s nice to see that the D-bags Who Run Our Country (Congress) have decided to rain on Stevie’s parade.

Two United States senators last night introduced legislation that could significantly increase taxes on publicly traded private equity firms and hedge funds.


Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 06-24-07

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

Stocks Stocks Stocks: A Week in Review 06-22-07

Time to make brainsThe market got in the DeLorean, punched it to 88 and went four weeks into the future. Based on the future knowledge that in the coming month, Fred the “Time to Make the Donuts” guy would come back from the dead and start a rival ubiquitous coffee chain called “Zombie Brains”, the market decided to move 51 points in a direction.

Nuveen (NYSE: JNC): Mr. Dearborn had his eye on Nuveen from afar, watching the curves of her body dancing, accruing attention from onlookers. Should I court her? Shalst I acquire her hand for a dance, for a night, for 9 months before I flip her back onto the public markets for a tidy sum? “Yes” his inner voice uttered, and he set out to sate his lustful needs.
Market Impact 6

Blackstone (NYSE: BX): Stephen Schwarzman will use his cash proceeds from the IPO to buyback shares of his own soul.
Market Impact 666

Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO): Would be much more confident if their CEO was named Wang or “Tripod.” Or better yet, “Google.”
Market Impact 11

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM): I had a 4 minute long conversation with my Blackberry this weekend. It was shockingly eloquent and put forth a viable and effective healthcare plan that could cover everyone in the US for a fraction of today’s cost. Then it stood up, grabbed its crotch and did a perfect moonwalk out of the room.
Market Impact 30

Prior Art: The First Mini-Baller?

Do not do a Google Image search for his namePrince Albert, not to be confused with his cousin Fat, may have been a mini-baller before the concept was created. Was he the first?

From a history of Royal Albert Hall at British History Online:

One respect in which the hall as built was consonant with the Prince’s ideas was in its financing by private rather than public money…
In August 1864, while on the train to Norwich, he wrote to tell Grey what he had decided. ‘I have come to the conclusion that the only way to get the Memorial Hall done is to do it!’

1864 is now the earliest example we have of someone (knowingly) getting it done.

Hat Tip: Felix at Portfolio

Wholesale Organic Idiocy

Most commentators believe that the FTC’s decision to block Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFMI) acquisition of Wild Oats (NASDAQ: OATS) is idiotic because the FTC is making organic food markets out to be a relevant market definition. These commentators would have you believe that the numerous, large supermarket chains who are now stocking more organic goods will provide more competition in the future, even after this merger has been allowed.

But who are the real fools here. The FTC is actually acting with wisdom seldom seen from a government agency. The relevant market is not organic food purveyors but rather supermarkets with service.

The lawsuit quotes [the Whole Foods CEO] as saying that the company “isn’t primarily about organic foods” but “only one part of its highly successful business model,” citing as others “superior quality, superior service, superior perishable product, superior prepared foods, superior marketing, superior branding and superior store experience.” – WSJ

Frankly, I agree. I spent 20min waiting in the deli line at Food Lion last week, only to be sold ground beef that looked like it had been dropped on the floor and then put back in the deli case. I love superior quality and superior service and abhor the idea that Whole Foods could acquire the only other superior provider, Wild Oats. At that point, given their monopoly on quality service, what would happen next? I’ll tell you what: we’d probably all end up paying a huge premium for our smoked gouda and wild Alaskan salmon.

The Carly Catapult

Yesterday, Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) parted ways with their non-email using CEO, Terry Semel. And the stock shot up 8%. A textbook example of the Carly Catapult.

The Carly Catapult is so named for the erstwhile Hewlett-Packard (NASDAQ: HPQ) CEO Carly Fiorina, whose tenure as CEO was so successful and inspired so much confidence that the stock went up 7% on news she had been fired. Now she sells books written in crazy.

Recommendation: If you are ever in a situation where you cause a Carly Catapult effect, you should probably look to short any of your future attempts at value creation. The problem is that because you suck so hard, it’s likely that if you were to short your own value creation, you would probably destroy the implied destruction of value you hoped to create by trying to create actual value, thus killing your short. So really you should just kill yourself.

Slimming camera

HP’s new camera offers an “artistic effect” that slims the subjects. Now you can take pictures of your fat friends and make them look (almost) like normal people.

Here are a few other “artistic effects” that we’d like to see:

  • Enlarge my wallet
  • Remove Johnny Debacle
  • Make people look fat (mainly a revenge feature for ex-gf, etc.)
  • Give me a chin
  • Turn any female butt shot into a Biel butt

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 06-17-07

Payin anything to roll the dice,
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on
Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin”

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

Undervalued Assets

With the pending release of our quarterly financials, and facing a lack of appealing growth opportunities, we have decided to focus on growing the entire category and pushing the needle that way. In light of this, we have added a list of sites under “Undervalued Assets” which will be populated with smaller, undervalued investing or financial blogs in whom our readers should consider investing. Think of it is as a watch list of small cap blogs. If you know of sites that fit this criteria or are a site that fits this definition, shoot an email to We only require good content or cash bribes, but please do not be insulted if we add you or take you off after adding you, we intend to have it a healthy amount of rotation to make it more useful.

Stocks Stocks Stocks: A Week in Review 06-15-07

The market dashed 87 points on news that Al Gore would or would not run, the new Chinese taxes on exporting molybdenum and Chamique Holdsclaw’s retirement. This picture of a nuclear reactor imploding probably didn’t help anything either.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJIA):
1st Half of the Week: Boo bond yields. Hurray bear (market)!
2nd Half of the Week: Boo bears, Hurray Good Economy!
Market Impact 48

Boeing (NYSE: BA): Continues to dominate Airbus in orders of “giant expensive flying things that will lose their owners tons of money and destroy the environment at a greater rate than anything other than cows”.
Market Impact 5

Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI): High fixed cost structure + retarded management = decision to enter into a price war with Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX).
Market Impact 20

Limelight (NASDAQ: LLNW): IPOed in the limelight but subsequently has fallen out of the limelight. Our favorite stock both run by nerds and also in the same business as Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM), but which is not Akamai.
Market Impact 14

Kellogg’s (NYSE: K): If Apple Jacks goes away will you at least tell me wtf an apple jack is (other than delicious)? I already know that a honey smack is what you do to your frog wife, when she misbehaves or tries to assert her “rights.”
Market Impact 4

The Red Exclamation Point in Oulook

Submitted by the Unrepentant Gunner

I need to alert you to the fact that emails in Outlook marked as high priority are not high priority at all. In fact, there is a negative correlation between a sender’s importance in the corporate food chain and the likelihood of their making emails HIGH PRIORITY! Here are some actual subjects from HIGH PRIORITY(!) emails I have received this year:

  • REFRIGERATOR CLEANING FRIDAY, MARCH 30TH (sent over 48 hours in advance from some admin assistant)
  • Canceled: Giordano’s B-Day “meeting” tonight !!!
  • FW: Boy Scouts
  • Canceled: Update Timesheets
  • (no subject) (and trust me, the content of the actual mail was almost as vapid)
  • St. Louis Dinner: Monday, June 4th

Now arguably, the last topic was worthy of high priority, because everyone has to be excited about dinner. That seems to be the exception, rather than the rule. From the dozen or so emails from my MDs, there is not one that is marked high priority. That says it all.

Recommendation: The obvious play is to short HIGH priority emails and their senders whole hand. There is a contrarian and value-oriented play in taking a long position on the under-utilized “Low-Priority” blue down arrow button. While this commodity has been hit hard and may well be under valued, we have a real fear of being too early here, especially after a weekend romantic encounter resulted in disastrous consequences for the same exact reason.

Dear LoS: Cleaning My Office

Dear LoS,

I work long hard hours in my bank and it’s rare that I have any time to develop a relationship or even to find a one night stand. It’s gotten to the point where I have recently begun fantasizing about Lupita, the 4’6″ bell-shaped woman who cleans our office after 8pm. She may not be pretty, but I’m 80% confident she is a woman. Would it be wrong for me to develop a purely physical relationship with her?

Cleaning dirty,
Henry Meeker


While Lupita may sate the needs of your physical manhood, she will not serve the needs of your heart in the long run. Worse, she will put your pride at risk. At first, it will start physical. You will assure yourself and her that there will be no kissing and that you would do it b-side only. But as you suck the teet of nominal human warmth, you will become addicted to its nourishing milk.

Your affair will be a forbidden love, a romantic lambada, reserved for the shadows of the weeknight night, in closets and bathroom stalls, the scent of Windex clinging to the air, not unlike how you cling to her fupa. If this dalliance were to be uncovered (and the smell that would permanently waft off of you would ensure it), it would spell ruin for you. No massaging of the numbers can hide the indelible mark Lupita would imprint on the balance sheet of your manhood.


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